It is now our last day in Bethel, and like I have said before, I am ready to go home, but at the same time, sad to be leaving. I will miss a lot about this place, and it sounds about right that it is supposed to start getting sunny and nice just as we are about to leave.
I will miss a lot of people that I have met here, people like Sarah and Suzan (shout out!). But we have to leave sometime, and our plane leaves for Anchorage tomorrow and then it is off to Seward.
This trip has been full of so many wonderful experiences and people, and I feel bad that I will never be able to fully express what I have been a part of here to anyone back home.
Yesterday, will be one of my favorite experiences that I have had in Alaska. In addition to the documentary, we are also doing our little side projects. Claire and I chose to do ours on the K300 dog race. Thanks to Sarah , yesterday morning we had the privilege to travel to Myron Angstman’s place. He is the individual who started the K300 and continues to race.
We got to visit his home where he keeps and trains his race dogs. Being a dog person myself this was a real treat for me. We got there and got to view where the dogs and puppies stayed. The dogs all had little box houses and would occasionally jump and stand on top of them (pretty sure this is where they got the idea for Snoopy always hanging out on top of his dog house). We had the privilege to see them harness up the dogs to a four wheeler, and take them out for a practice run. Claire and Morgan rode on the back filming while the rest of us hopped into Sarah’s car while she drove behind and up on the side of them as we attempted to film the dogs in training.
After following them around, we got a short interview with Myron and learned how he started the K300 and what it is like to compete in a dog race. He was a very nice person and we were thankful he could take time out of his day for us. I know I will always remember the time I went to Bethel and got to watch the person who started the K300 train.
Today, I woke up and had a slow morning, and after our group reflection, volunteered to be the interviewer for the last interview we would be conducting in Bethel, which took place after a bountiful lunch of king salmon provided by the generous native people here. Even though we stayed in the church to interview Suzan (a wonderful lady I might add), I was still really nervous, since this was my first time interviewing. It might not sound like the biggest deal, but really I just wanted to do good, and I think that I did to the best of my knowledge. I am just glad that I got the opportunity to ask questions for an interview.
I am currently just trying to savor this last day I will be here in Bethel, I don’t know if I’ll ever be back here in my lifetime. I will miss this church/main hall that has become like a second home to me. I will miss the people of Bethel, their open hearts, minds, and complete generosity to everyone they come in contact here. I will miss everyone on this team once we go our separate ways after the class is actually done, they are all really great people.
Mostly, I am just thankful. I am thankful to have had this experience here. Thankful for my parents who have allowed me to have this experience. Thankful to the people here, and everyone we interviewed for showing me a new side of culture. I am thankful to Sla. And I am thankful to everyone that made this possible. I am also thankful for the advice that Matt Dorwart gave us before we left, to live in the moment, because I have certainly tried my best to do just that. We have a good few days left here in Alaska, and I will be continuing to try to live in the moment.